Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Don't Forget Iran!

Maybe this has come up before, but I happened upon CNN's report last night about the supposed shipment of sophisticated bombs coming over the border from Iran to Iraq.

I'm a bit surprised this didn't get more play in the morning newspapers. Mo Dowd commented on it in her first op-ed in many a moon. But beyond that, it's been underplayed, seemingly even by the administration that reported it.

Given the low but steady drum-beat for war with Iran that Faux Nooz has been showcasing for its neocon sponsors, it would seem to represent another link in the chain for invading the second member of the infamous axis of evil that some on the right want so badly.

Nevertheless, our invasion and occupation of Iraq, combined with the rising insurgency, have put that goal on hold, and have paradoxically, made both the insurgency worse and made the option of confronting Iran over the shipments that may be being used by insurgency problematic (critics argue against the usefulness of a Shiite Iran helping mostly Sunni Iraqi insurgents, but for more on that, please see the article I link to below). This condition, among others, has helped confirm what any middle school world studies student could have predicted, that the toppling of Saddam Hussein and the prolonged, violent occupation of Iraq has only emboldened and strengthened Iran.

In a long but enlightening article on, Michael Schwartz and Tom Engelhardt document the ways: first, our occupation ended Iraq's oil contracts with countries like China, which have as a substitute, made agreements with Iran, for their natural resource needs. This new Iran-China axis also protects Iran in the UN's Security Council against punitive actions related to Tehran's nuclear ambitions, scientific or otherwise, which Tehran's new leader has reinaugurated. Needless to say, the insurgency in Iraq and the substituting of previously Sunni-secularists in Baghdad with more militant, and more importantly for Iran, sympathetic Shiites in the new government have enhanced Iran's security, making it less likely that the new Iraqis would partner with, or allow the U.S. to use it as a base of operations against Iran. There's more and you should read it.

But beyond wringing our hands at the incompetence of it all, Democrats should recognize the dire straits our next President will be mired in due to this quagmire as well as other declining situations. Domestically, he or she will have to deal with a sizeable, vocal, and ferociously hostile conservative "noise machine" and dedicated, religiously motivated opposition groups in the form of the Focus on the Family theocrats. The federal budget deficit will be at record levels. And internationally, he or she will need to find a way out of the mess in Iraq, and attempt to unite with other formerly friendly nations to resecure the volatile Middle East, to minimize if not prevent the proliferation of nuclear arms and to stem the tide of vitriolic anti-Americanism, generated to no small degree, by the current cast of characters representing us and by a pseudo intellectual army of elites that will continue to try exploit world developments to their own hegemonic fantasies.

No comments: